According to Architectural Record, construction will begin in August on a new Harlem office building, which, in addition to being to being the tallest in the neighborhood, is set to become its first large-scale office development in more than two decades.
Christened the Harlem Park, the 21-story building will be built on the corner of Park Avenue and East 125th street, on a lot purchased by Vornado Realty Trust last year. At 340 feet, it will be the neighborhood’s tallest. This is not the only unusual thing about it, though: in breaking with the typical Harlem residential + retail mix, the building will mostly offer office space.
Curtis Archer, president of the Harlem Community Development Corporation (HDCC), notes that a certain change of mentality is going to be necessary: “[Harlem] has never been marketed as a business district until recently”, he said. Indeed, the last major project of this scale is the 19-story Harlem State Office Building, completed in 1973.
The design of the building (which will be shaped as an irregular composition of stacked boxes, with an illuminated apex) may also raise some eyebrows.
Finally, the building’s architects (Swanke Hayden Connell) planned it with an eye towards the LEED Silver certification. Among the eco-friendly features are the design of windows and walls (daylight will penetrate through nearly 75% of the occupied space) and its water-conserving plumbing system.